Shot of a senior woman in a wheelchair looking sad, depressed at a nursing home

The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released a National Cancer Plan that sets a framework “to collaborate in ending cancer as we know it.”

The plan is part of a “Cancer Moonshot” initiative revived in 2022 that dates back to President Joe Biden’s days as Vice President in 2016. In early March, he asked Congress for $2.8 billion in the federal budget to support a goal of cutting cancer deaths in half over the next 25 years, with half to go to HHS initiatives. 

The new framework includes an outline of “what must be accomplished to prevent more cancers, reduce deaths from the disease and improve the lives of everyone after a diagnosis with cancer,” HHS said in a statement. This includes early detection and prevention; development of effective treatments; eliminating cancer-care related inequalities; and supporting optimal care delivery with increased stakeholder engagement, maximized data usage and an optimized workforce. 

The National Cancer Institute will take the lead in the plan, which calls for “collaboration across all sectors of society, traditional and non-traditional, to work together to make faster progress against cancer,” HHS stated.

One of the many workforce needs is more physician- and other clinician-scientists, according to the plan. Research to improve healthcare delivery is “challenging because it requires cooperation among clinicians and health systems that currently lack the time and resources necessary to conduct research,” it states.

But research alone will not be able to accomplish these goals, NCI adds on the National Cancer Plan website.

“To succeed, we must work together to develop strategies, share knowledge and accelerate progress,” it stated.

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